When you’re dealing with an eviction process, you’re experiencing one of the most stressful periods involved in owning rental property. This is your Myndful Minute, where we’ll remind you of some key truths that you need to prepare for when evicting a resident.
Stay Consistent and Follow Your Lease Agreement
One of the things you have to realize is that when you own a rental property and your resident is not paying rent, you have an obligation to enforce your rental contract when you begin the eviction process. You don’t have the option to pick and choose which date you send the Notice to Pay or Quit, and you can’t arbitrarily decide when you’re going to go to the courthouse to file the eviction or go through with removing the resident based on what that resident is promising.
Your lease agreement is a rental contract that’s signed by you and your resident. Make sure you always refer to your lease agreement when you’re evicting. If your resident doesn’t pay rent as agreed, you need to act in accordance with that lease. Treat your rental property like a business, and make the eviction process a consistent part of your policies and procedures.
Never Accept Partial Payments During an Eviction
Remember that when you are involved in an eviction, you should never take partial payments. Once you file that eviction in court, you’re evicting for a certain amount of overdue rent and fees. A partial payment means you’re no longer evicting for the same amount filed in court.
Make a policy not to accept partial payments. Once the process has started and the documents have been filed in court, a resident will have to pay everything in full. That includes the overdue rent, the court costs, the legal fees, and the filing fees. You cannot play favorites and allow one tenant but not another tenant to make a partial payment. It looks like discrimination, and you can be charged with a fair housing violation. Be consistent and don’t accept partial payments. The only way your resident can call off the eviction is with a full payment that includes all applicable fees.
Avoid Emotional Reactions During Evictions
Evictions are emotionally stressful. It feels like your resident is taking advantage of you. But, you have to avoid taking it personally and getting emotional. This is a business, and you don’t want to make business decisions based on how you’re feeling. Nothing good ever comes from emotional, knee-jerk reactions.
The consequences of an emotional reaction can be more devastating than the eviction itself. You might find yourself in an argument or served with a restraining order. Worse things can happen if the situation escalates just because someone owes you money. Your rental property is a business, and you need to treat it that way. Take all actions through the court if your resident isn’t paying rent. Follow the law and the established court procedures. Don’t go to the property and try to handle it yourself. That’s not you’re job, and it’s not the business you’re in.